Understanding the Reaction Kinetics of Polyurethane Flexible Foam
McKinnon, Caitlin Alma
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Polyurethane flexible foam is used throughout daily life predominantly as cushions for chairs and mattresses. Currently new foams are made through extensive research and development via trial and error. There are many reactions interacting with each other during the polyurethane generation process. The numerous reactions create difficulty in modeling and predicting the physical attributes of a foam. This thesis explores the kinetics associated with each reaction to generate a simple model to understand the reaction kinetics with the addition of some additives. This thesis focused on creating the foams in a real-world environment, including allowing ambient water vapor to be mixed into the system and heat to be transferred out of the system into the surroundings. In addition, CO2 measurements were taken throughout the experiment.